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Effects of Hard Water on Skin and How to Prevent Them

by Olly Mason

Our home sweet home in the Arizona desert offers a one-of-a-kind landscape and culture that can’t be found anywhere else. We love the desert — but that affection is always reciprocal. Specifically, the harsh conditions that come with living in this arid zone creates unique problems, of the which is hard water and the effects it can have on the body. In this article, we’re diving into the cons of hard water, plus how water softeners are a great solution to the problem.  

At a Glance:

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System (ET64H)

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System (ET50HWS 1)

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System (ET42H 1)

Identifying Hard Water

What sounds like an oxymoron is actually a bigger issue than wordplay. Over time, deposits in hard water can accumulate in pipes and around faucets, decreasing their lifespan and ultimately costing you money in repairs. While water containing minerals is recommended for ingestion, the opposite is true when it comes to hygiene, as we’ll detail below. All in all, if your home uses hard water, you run the chance of practicing unhealthy skin habits that can result in cosmetic discomfort to physical pain, irritation, or inflammation.

Effects of Hard Water on the Skin

Dandruff, dry skin, acne, irritation — even acne and eczema — can all be a side effect of hard water. So, how does water become “hard” in the first place? That’s determined by the source. When water passes through the ground, whatever minerals are in the surrounding soil can transfer into the water. In the case of Arizona, caliche is very common, and as you’ve probably gathered, the primary compound found in caliche is calcium, a major contributor to hard water.

The presence of calcium (among others) makes it harder for soap to produce a lather, requiring the need for more soap to be applied onto skin. Since the soap never dissolves properly, it leaves a film of soap left on the skin, and that thin layer or residue is enough to throw off the oil levels on the surface of the skin, resulting in itchiness and irritation. Those teeny tiny particles are also just the right size to fit into pores, creating blockages that inhibit oil production and offset blackheads and acne.

Aside from bodily clues, other indications that your home’s water source might be hard are soap scum and limescale, as well as corrosion to hardware like gaskets and pipes.

Related: Discover Hard-Water Levels in Your Area and More

Tips to Prevent Hard Water Damage to the Skin

The minerals found in hard water are small — microscopic small. Due to these properties, the only effective way to ensure water is free of these contaminants is with the help of a water softener. As you might’ve guessed, water softeners gets their name for their ability to condition groundwater of hard minerals, most commonly calcium and magnesium. Once free of the particles, water no longer reacts to the chemicals found in soap and won’t disrupt the alkali balance on the skin. As a direct result of these improvements, skin retains moisture better, further promoting a healthy body that resists hard water skin problems.

Luckily, Spencer’s has developed the Envirotec water softener system to combat these issues. This water treatment solution is backed by over 35 years of proven success with an emphasis on Arizona desert settings, something competing water softeners can’t claim. To learn more about this water treatment system found only at Spencer’s TV & Appliance, make sure contact one of our representatives.

Related: Top 5 Benefits of a Water Softener

Our Water Softener Picks

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System

Product image of Envirotec ET64H water softener

Proven to outperform competing cabinet water softeners up to five times longer, the Envirotec ET65H is an outstanding resource worth every penny. On top of durability, this recommended water softener comes with a lifetime guarantee on its Ultrastar Resin tank that resists desert climates, and a regeneration tank made of quality polyethylene material with the capacity to store up to 150 pounds of salt. Enjoy lighter maintenance thanks to the highest system capacity able to contain 64,000 grains and reduce water bleed-through, the perfect complement to Enviroguard technology that diminishes odors, chlorine, and chloramine, all which strip clothes and hair of color. 

Contact for best price

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System

Product image of Envirote ET50HWS water softener

Featuring our trademark Digital Demand Monitoring for smart regeneration that saves up to 75 percent on water and salt consumption, this water softener is an economic solution for treating water. A superior capacity of 50,000 grains means less need of regeneration, while the MaxFlow Value ensures optimum water pressure for all your water needs. Complete with the protection of Enviroguard that removes odor and chemicals and an Ultrastar high-temperature resin tank made to resist desert conditions, this water treatment solution is a great asset to the home.

Contact for best price

Recommended: Envirotec™ Water Softener System

Product image of Envirotec ET42H water softener

The Envirotec ET42H is the answer lighter water treatment needs, providing a decent 42,000-grain capacity ideal for small households. Like its bigger counterparts, this water softener comes with durable construction designed to withstand conditions of the Arizona desert, plus a MaxFlow valve with high-flow rating and improved water pressure.

Contact for best price

Hard Water Skin FAQs

What does hard water do to your skin?

The surface of the skin is a delicate balance of natural oils. When hard water comes in contact with the skin, it strips away those oils, leaving behind a layer of mineral deposits that clogs the pores where oils would naturally exist.

Does hard water cause dry skin?

If you experience dry, itchy, irritated skin, hard water may be the culprit. On top of bodily indications, look for signs like soap scum, limescale, or do a hard water test to confirm minerals in the water are the reason for dry skin.  

Can hard water cause acne?

Fact: Natural oils react to the minerals found in hard water, ultimately converting from pliable to a hard, waxy substance that clogs pores. Over time, the buildup of wax in the pores can lead to breakouts and increased acne. 

Can hard water cause eczema?

Simply put, eczema is a condition in which the skin has developed a weaker barrier that is prone to damage. Since hard water has the ability to alter the pH of water, it can further weaken the surface, aggravating eczema for those who have it, and increasing the chances of developing it for those who don’t already suffer from the condition.

Is hard water bad for your skin?

Yes. While hard water is especially detrimental for individuals who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, hard water skin problems can become present even for those who don’t suffer pre-existing conditions. As mentioned, hard water strips natural oils from the skin and leaves a coating of soap residue, which blocks pores and acts as a barrier against moisturizers and lotions.

Related: 10 Signs Your Home Needs Water Treatment


The evidence is clear: Adding water softener system to your home comes with heaps of benefits, while continuing to use untreated water could lead to potential heath and residential problems. Given water softeners are a relatively inexpensive home upgrade, every homeowner should consider including treatment for ultimate water conditions every family deserves.

We provide multiple solution options, making it easy and affordable to treat specific areas of the home like the bathroom or the kitchen, or the entire home with fully integrated systems.

Shop Water Softeners at Spencer’s TV & Appliance

Treated water is one of the simplest ways to give your loved ones the gift of health, and the Envirotec family of water treatments solutions is the best way of guaranteeing you provide them with the best option on the market.

To explore our entire catalog of Envirotec products, shop online, by phone, or at one of our 10 appliance showrooms throughout the Valley, including locations in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Glendale.